Irish FM praises Cyprus for supporting UN reform package
Nicosia, Jul 20 (CNA) -- Irish Foreign Minister Dermott Ahern praised Cyprus for its strong support to the UN Secretary-General’s reform package of the UN, which he presented today to the Cyprus government.
Welcoming Ahern, who is on a two-day visit to the island, Iacovou said the Irish diplomat has received a mandate from the UN Chief with other prominent politicians, to explain the contents of the reform package of the UN and this was the main purpose of his visit.
He also said they had a private meeting where they discussed European issues and Turkey’s protocol expanding its customs union agreement with the ten new member states, including Cyprus.
Iacovou praised Ireland’s support to Cyprus, noting it is a very friendly country and an ardent supporter within the EU.
On his part, Dermott said this was his first official visit as Minister, but also as UN envoy, one of the five appointed by Kofi Annan to promote his UN reform package around the world.
Ahern thanked the Cyprus government for the “very strong suport for the UN reform package, given the fact that Cyprus was focused on a particular idea to bring to the table as to how the UN can be reshaped from an organisation, particularly institutionally which was set up in the mid 1945 to now in a different world where there are different threats and challenges facing us”.
He referred to the “scourge of terrorism as we saw in London where a number of Irish born people were killed and in Turkey last week where a 17-year-old girl, who was on holiday, was killed”.
Ahern stressed the need for the nations of the world to act more in concert with each other rather than in opposition to each other, in order to defeat the scourge of terrorism.
He said he also dicussed with Iacovou a number of European issues.
The Irish minister said his country and the UK now have a much better relationship, due to the Good Friday Agreement in 1998. “So we in the EU would be a strong supporter of a consensus and dialogue on the issue of Cyprus. And we are looking forward to working with Mr. Iacovou in order to assist in that process”, he added.
The Irish Minister, who leaves this afternoon, was also received by President Tassos Papadopoulos.